2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 8-19-21

by Mike Schneider
2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 8-19-21

Welcome to the 8-19-21 edition of our 2021 MiLB Prospect Notes.

We are entering the home stretch of the minor league season. The AAA regular season ends on October 3rd. The last day for the Complex Leagues is September 18th and for Low A. High A and AA the last day of the regular season is September 19th.

It will interesting to see how AAA will look once the rest of the minor leagues are finished. I anticipate that for position players, teams will want their most important prospects to get a couple of more weeks of game action.  For pitchers that missed time during the season, such as George Kirby, Emerson Hancock, or Connor Seabold it may be an opportunity to build up more innings.

2021 MiLB Prospect Notes 8-19-21

Forty Man Roster Decisions

The class of 2017 international free agents must either be put on the forty-man roster this offseason or be exposed to the Rule V draft. The cancellation of the minor league season in 2020 limited the amount of game action that players from this class have received before organizations must make a decision.

For example, Jhonkensy Noel signed with the Indians on July 15, 2017. As is typical, Noel spent 2018 in the Dominican Summer League and 2019 in the Arizona Summer League. Noel has been limited to 38 games in Low A in 2021 due to a couple of nagging injuries.  He has proven he can hit and was promoted to High A earlier this week.

The Indians will have a particularly tight roster with many promising young middle infielders in their organization. From a dynasty league perspective, Noel has a huge upside as a hitter.  However, from a real-life perspective, his value is lower because he is righthanded and most likely limited defensively to 1st base.  

If there was a 2020 season, the Indians would have more information to decide if Noel should be protected and if he is not protected the other organizations would have more information to decide if they should pick him in the Rule V draft.

Complex Leagues Statistics

I do not pay a lot of attention to a prospect's stats in the rookie leagues because I do not believe they are meaningful.

The pitching depth in the rookie league is poor and hitters can rack up numbers against poor pitching.  I have seen too many prospects get exposed once they reach full-season ball.


Extra Base Hits

Here are the minor league players with the most extra-base hits.

NameTeamLevelExtra Base HitsGAge2B3BHRBBSOSBCS
Anthony VolpeNYYA/A+528220285196474276
Vinnie PasquantinoKCRA+/AA51872330318435250
Austin ShentonTBA+/AA49802332314478710
Nick PrattoKCRAA/AAA488522225215910785
MJ MelendezKCRAA/AAA48852218030438124
Orelvis MartinezTORA/A+48831923223349542
Bobby Witt Jr.KCRAA/AAA478621184253693209
Jose MirandaMINAA/AAA47902323024345543
Kevin SmithTORAAA468224234194083163
Cade MarloweSEAA/A+467824229154497206
Mason MartinPITAA468522242203212102
Jack LarsenSEAA+/AA458126282155490125
Andy PagesLADA+45912021123569962
Joe Gray Jr.MILA/A+458521199174698182
Tyler FitzgeraldSFGA+4586232621732111114
Jonny DelucaLADA/A+457822195213667142
Brendon DavisLAAA+/AA4586231942236100123
Jo AdellLAAAAA44732217423229982
Brandon LewisLADA/A+448222192233410911
Matt FraizerPITA+/AA448623185214481157


xFIP attempts to measure a pitcher's performance independent of defense and based on a league-average home run to flyball ratio.  Here are the qualified minor league players with the best xFIP in full-season ball.

Grayson RodriguezBALA+/AA212.6614.162.210.1530.7870.2372.10
Peyton BattenfieldCLEA+/AA232.8812.101.510.1700.7890.2342.21
Brayan BelloBOSA+/AA223.0113.152.700.2411.2130.3703.64
Glenn OttoTEXAA/AAA253.0312.902.080.2141.0260.3283.38
Caleb KilianCHCA+/AA243.0510.101.230.2060.8920.2852.45
Cade CavalliWSNA+/AA223.0714.124.320.1841.1420.3162.50
John DoxakisTBRA/A+223.1010.461.460.2090.9460.2833.65
Randy VasquezNYYA/A+223.2211.593.380.2011.1250.2992.25
Jonathan BermudezHOUAA253.2312.132.400.2371.1820.3403.32
Tobias MyersTBRAA/AAA223.2511.801.820.2271.0590.3014.08
Ryan MurphySFGA/A+213.3013.602.120.1970.9540.2982.60
Hunter GreeneCINAA/AAA213.3112.633.260.2111.1320.3053.16
Adam OllerNYMAA/AAA263.4011.763.270.2191.1850.3083.70
Cody BradfordTEXA+/AA233.4212.762.050.2201.0760.3173.53
Garrett StallingsBALA+233.428.331.350.2691.2000.3164.39
Cooper CriswellLAAAA/AAA243.4211.241.370.2421.0970.3233.89
Graham AshcraftCINA+/AA233.4310.473.230.1981.0760.2862.74
Louie VarlandMINA/A+233.4512.332.890.2111.0990.3171.89
Spencer StriderATLA/A+/AA223.4514.523.840.1901.1200.3153.96

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Three New Prospects To Know

Felix Valerio (INF Brewers)

Listed at 5'7" 165 lbs, Valerio is an ideal lead-off hitter with excellent on-base skills and good speed.

Valerio was originally signed by the Mets in March 2018 as an under-the-radar international free agent from the Dominican Republic. In 2018 he played in the Dominican Summer League where he had a .409 on-base percentage and was among the league leaders with 17 doubles. However, the Mets included Valerio in a package to obtain Keon Broxton prior to the 2019 season.

Valerio spent 2019 with the Brewers rookie team in the Arizona Summer League where he was solid as an 18-year-old with a .389 OBP and 16 steals.

However, this year in his first season in full-season ball, Valerio has taken a leap forward.  He is among the league leaders in runs, doubles, on-base percentage, RBIs, and steals.   Valerio's 33 extra-base hits even give some indication that he could hit for a bit of power as he matures.

Valerio has played 2nd base, shortstop, and 3rd base but his future is likely at 2nd base.  Valerio was promoted to High A Wisconsin on August 17th. Given his size, you cannot help but think of Jose Altuve. While comparisons to Altuve are unrealistic, Valerio is a prospect worth watching.

Jose Butto (RHP Mets)

The Mets have had recent success in AA with unheralded pitchers such as Adam Oller who was recently promoted to AAA and struck out 13 in his first AAA game and Cole Gordon who has two hits in his last 17 innings with 28 strikeouts. The pitcher I am going to look at here is Jose Butto.

Butto was a 19 years old under-the-radar international free agent signing by the Met in June 2017 from Venezuela. After spending 2017 in the Dominican Summer League, Butto came stateside in 2018 and pitched well in the Appalachian League before having a more difficult time in the NY Penn League.

In 2019, Butto had a solid season in Full season A for the Columbia Fireflies.  He pitched 112 innings and the Mets limited his innings in August to two innings a start.

Butto was similarly solid the first few months of 2021 with High A Brooklyn.  However, after he got promoted to AA Binghamton, he really started to impress. Butto has made five AA starts and in each of the last three starts, he has pitched six scoreless innings.  In these 18 innings, Butto has only allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out 20.  He has a changeup that flashes plus.

Ryan Noda (LF/1B Dodgers)

The Dodgers have had success acquiring minor league position players such as Max Muncy and Chris Taylor for very little and turning them into productive major league players.

Ryan Noda was a 15th round pick by the Blue Jays out of the University of Cincinnati. He is a three outcome hitter with little defensive value. However, the designated hitter in the National League appears inevitable in the next collective bargaining agreement which will benefit a player like Noda.

The Dodgers acquired Noda in the Ross Stripling deal and he is spent 2021 at AA with the Tulsa Drillers.

Noda is lefthanded and has 21 homers and a.377 on-base percentage against right-handed pitching in 274 plate appearances. Noda projects to be a productive hitter on the strong side of a platoon particularly in OBP leagues.

Comings and Goings

Prospects Changing Levels

Another very busy week with promotions.

Riley Greene, Spencer Torkelson, and Alek Thomas were promoted to AAA.  All are top ten prospects in my rankings.

My number 19 prospect, Jose Barrero was promoted to the majors. He was in the majors briefly in 2020 but was not ready.  After excelling in the upper minors in 2021 he should be in a better position to succeed.

A number of 2021 draft picks were moved up to full-season ball.

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8/12/21PiratesHenry DavisComplex High A
8/13/21RangersYohel PozoAAAMLB
8/16/21TigersRyan KreidlerAAAAA
8/16/21RedsJose BarreroAAAMLB
8/16/21DodgersAndre JacksonAAAMLB
8/16/21IndiansDaniel JohnsonAAAMLB
8/16/21TigersSpencer TorkelsonAAAAA
8/16/21TigersRiley GreeneAAAAA
8/16/21DiamondbacksLuis FriasAAAAA
8/16/21DiamondbacksAlek ThomasAAAAA
8/16/21DiamondbacksBrandon PfaadtHigh AAA
8/16/21TigersReese OlsonHigh AAA
8/16/21DiamondbacksEduardo DiazHigh AAA
8/16/21PadresMoises LugoHigh A AA
8/16/21DiamondbacksCollin SullivanLow AHigh A
8/16/21TigersJack O'LoughlinLow AHigh A
8/16/21DiamondbacksRonny SimonLow AHigh A
8/16/21DiamondbacksElian MirandaLow AHigh A
8/16/21TigersCarlos MendozaComplexlow A
8/16/21DiamondbacksJeferson EspinalComplexLow A
8/17/21Blue JaysOtto LopezAAAMLB
8/17/21BravesBryce ElderAAAAA
8/17/21RoyalsSeuly MatiasHigh AAA
8/17/21BrewersFelix ValerioLow AHigh A
8/17/21White SoxYoelqui CespedesHigh AAA
8/17/21YankeesStephen RidingsMLBAAA
8/17/21IndiansJhonkensy NoelLow AHigh A
8/17/21NationalsDonovan CaseyAAAAA
8/17/21OriolesCody SedlockAAAAA
8/17/21OriolesBlaine KnightAAAAA
8/17/21OriolesJordan WestburgHigh AAA
8/17/21OriolesGarrett StallingsHigh AAA
8/17/21GiantsJairo PomaresLow A High A
8/17/21MarlinsEury PerezLow AHigh A
8/17/21MarlinsDax FultonLow AHigh A
8/17/21OriolesTT BowensLow AHigh A
8/17/21OriolesAdam StaufferLow AHigh A
8/17/21OriolesCoby MayoComplexLow A
8/17/21OriolesColton CowserComplexLow A
8/17/21OriolesConnor NorbyComplexLow A
8/18/21Blue JaysKevin SmithAAAMLB
8/18/21AstrosJonathan Bermudez
8/18/21MarlinsJose SalasComplexLow A

Prospects Who Went On the IL

Tyler Soderstrom, Casey Schmitt, Brendan Murphy, Patrick Bailey, and Jake Eder went on the injured list this week.

Prospects Coming Off the IL

Code Hoese, Bailey Horn, Matt Canterino, Carmen Mlodzinski, Brett Auerbach, Tim Cate, and Chris Gittens were all activated off the injured list this week.

Check out the rest of our 2021 Fantasy Baseball content from our fantastic team of writers.

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